Plays, TV, and other shows

Last Tuesday we took a day trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon and saw Shakespeare’s birthplace and grave. 

The town was cute, but they’ve turned Will’s birthplace into a kind of cheesy tourist spot. It was interesting to see where he lived though, after learning so much about him and reading some of his plays. 

While we were there we went to see a performance of King Lear. The actors were good, it was just really long. I’m sure I would have appreciated it more if I could tell what they were saying. I got the general idea, but Shakespeare’s characters are rather long winded and have a thing for monologues.

Wednesday night I went to see Le Miserables, which was fantastic! I didn’t realize how many of the songs I had heard before. I guess they leaked into pop culture since it’s been playing for 25 years. 

Friday I met Caro and RJ for dinner and then went to their friend’s house to watch an Irish TV show called Father Ted in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. Then we watched a British show called Black Books. They were both pretty funny. British humor is so different from American humor. It’s more wacky and based on absurd situations. I quite enjoy it. 

Saturday I met Sara, Morgan, Emily, and Becca at Portobello market, which was pretty cool, then we went to the South Bank and learned about a parkour show that was happening the next day in front of the National Theatre. So on Sunday night we went back and watched from the bridge so as to be able to see over the huge crowd. Security guards had to keep telling people to get out of the surrounding trees that they were climbing up to get a good view.

Before the show started we watched two boys struggle to get up one of the trees. One gave his friend a leg up, but his friend was finding it hard to pull himself up onto the first branch. He wouldn’t give up though, and soon we weren’t the only ones watching. Everyone standing on the bridge with us was shouting advice and encouragement to the determined teen.

"You can do it!"

"Come on! Pull yourself up!" 

Finally noticing his audience, the boy heaved himself onto the branch and raised a triumphant fist in the air. We all cheered loudly. Almost immediately a security guard walked over and motioned for him to get down. We all booed, but our tree climbing hero had no choice but to hop down from his hard-earned perch. 

Parkour, or free running, is a sort of mix of gymnastics and crazy stunts. Red bull was sponsoring a big competition, so they had set up a huge course jutting out from the side of the National Theatre. 

The general scene, to give you an idea of how many people were there and the view we had from the bridge: 

The course. Observe the tiny man in blue doing a flip over the railing: 

The competitors would jump and flip up and down the course. I was in constant fear of seeing them fall and break their necks, but it was pretty sweet.